The Smarter Balance standardized test results for Montana were released today, August 17, and offer a perspective on how well local students are doing. Missoula County School District One Superintendent Mark Thane says Missoula schools are outperforming the state average.

"We don't have data yet on other states, but I can say that statewide totals for Montana showed in math 41 percent of the students scoring Proficient or Advanced, in Missoula County Public Schools that number was 50 percent of the students, so nine points higher than the state average," Thane said.

Local students also outperformed most of their statewide peers in reading.

"The reading proficiency rate across the state was 50 percent and in Missoula County Public Schools the proficiency rate was 57 percent, so again, seven points higher than the state average," Thane said. "When we look at this data, with Missoula County Public schools scoring higher than the state average in a state that tends to score in top ten nationally, I think there could be some good news there."

There may also be some bad news. Thane says he was “concerned” and says that proficiency rates were not what he expected. About 30 percent of Missoula students fell into the “near-proficient” category in both reading and math, which may explain the difference.